In with the new (Letter from the Editor)

MATTHEW SALZANO; Editor-in-Chief;

On New (School) Year’s Day 2014, my first year, I took a selfie with my adviser. Even though she had tasked every new advisee with this, I was a little terrified.

She was one of the seemingly-countless faculty wearing those intimidating, strange robes, watching us parade through a campus I didn’t yet know. “She wants me to just take a picture with her?” I thought. “That doesn’t seem as regal as those robes.” Somehow, I found new courage in this new assignment and I did it.

I heard from my adviser at convocation this year. She wished me a “Happy new year!” and followed it with more work to do. It wasn’t quite as intimidating as that first selfie, but its newness reminded me of thinking “What am I doing?” on that walk down Hinderlie Hill.

Whether it’s your first or your fourth year at Pacific Lutheran University, that opening of the school year brings in a lot of ‘new.’ Even with all its oldness — that peculiar mace, the robes mimicking historic academia and plenty of gray hairs — convocation becomes a representation of all the new: classes, friends and piles of homework.

This year, the first and most challenging ‘new’ we address is the void left in our community after the loss of Professor Bill Teska and student Tom Pfeifle, both remembered on the opposite page.

As we grieve and adjust, we also delight in the thrills that come with each new start, face and chance.

Mast Media has begun reporting on some of these exciting ‘new’s. Pastor Jen Rude graced the cover of Mast Magazine, our diverse group of first-years are featured on this cover and new people and things around campus are highlighted throughout this entire issue.

The Mast is dedicated to spending this year developing more thoughtful, community-oriented reporting. We recognize our role as members of this community and our responsibility to help make this place better. Let us know what we can do at

On behalf of everyone at Mast Media, we hope that this first issue of The Mast — and the ones that follow — can help you celebrate and process all that comes with the new.

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